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Alternative Press Week in Review (english)
Address: APR, PO Box 4710, Arlington, VA
19 May 2003
A weekly roundup of news, announcements, essays and other items of interest. In this issue: APR's new email list, Arundhati Roy on the American empire, Leah C. Wells on the issues of water and oil in Iraq, David Edwards on the tragedy of Iraqi children having no healthcare, and Matt Taibbi on the incoherent writing of Thomas Friedman.
Week in Review
Your Guide Beyond the Mainstream
Vol. 1, No. 13 – May 19, 2003
A weekly roundup of news, announcements, essays and other items of interest.
Website of the Week
Alternative Press Review Email List
Join APR’s email list to receive regular updates and the Alternative Press Week in Review column filled with the latest news, analysis, articles, announcements, and other items of interest.
War Resisters League – 80th Anniversary national conference
July 18 – 20, 2003, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO
WRL has the distinction of reaching 80 years old this year. Now more than ever, WRL’s belief in nonviolent struggle is needed in a world torn apart by the organized violence that is war. From the “war to end all wars” that spawned our organization through the current “War on Terror,” WRL has been rooted in the idea that a world without any war is possible. Workshops will include thoughts on anarchism and nonviolence, the responsibility of artists in a time of war, theatrics for activists, war tax resistance, new nuclear weapons research and what that means for our work as activists the militarization of space, prison issues, community gardens and globalization.
For more information, please contact: War Resisters League, 339 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012 – (212) 228-0450 • fax (212) 228-6193 – conference (at) warresisters.org
A short list of some of the more interesting items received at the Alternative Press Review office this week.
Book of the Week
You Back The Attack! We’ll Bomb Who We Want! – Remixed War Propaganda
By Micah Ian Wright, Seven Stories Press
You Back the Attack! is the brainchild of U.S. Airborne Ranger turned dissident comic book artist Micah Wright. Stunning, hilarious, and politically incendiary, this full-color poster book reworks classic American World War I and II propaganda into commentaries on war, peace, and patriotism for the post-September 11 era. The forty one-sided posters make fun of war mentality, the Bush White House, Homeland Security, the War on Terror, Ashcroft, the 2000 Presidential election, the military-industrial complex, and much more.
Magazine of the Week
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
The magazine of global security and analysis
Volume 59, No. 3 – May/June 2003
Articles on the US government dismissing the findings of UN weapons inspectors and extensive US intelligence reports, the “duct tape and cover” civil defense program, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s dirty little secret, and a report on the group of scientists who studied the possible use of nuclear weapons in Vietnam.
Newsletter of the Week
SOA Watch Update
SOA Watch is an independent organization that seeks to close the US Army School of the Americas, now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHISC).
Articles of the Week
Repetitive Brain Injury
Brian Dean, Alternative Press Review
Intelligence tests are often used by employers to weed out brainless job candidates, but an increasing number of UK companies use a test designed to identify candidates who are too smart.
Ground Zero: Hiroshima Haunts 9/11
Gene Ray, Alternative Press Review
Ground zero: in the wake of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the spontaneous invocation and rapid popular acceptance of this freighted term mark a specific and potent return of repressed American history.
Democracy is the Free World's whore
Arundhati Roy, Outlook (India)
It was Frenzy with a Purpose. It ushered in an old doctrine in a new bottle: the Doctrine of Pre-emptive Strike, aka The United States Can Do Whatever The Hell It Wants, And That’s Official.
Military hand in attack on free speech
Buster Southerly, Green Left Weekly
On May 1, poet, teacher, youth poetry coach and Green Left Weekly writer Bill Nevins received a terse notice from the Rio Rancho School District informing him that he has been fired from his Rio Rancho High School (RRHS) teaching position, effective from August. Reasons for his termination were not stated.
So what was the war for?
Robert Fisk, New Zealand Herald
The "liberation" of Iraq was supposed to free us from the bombers of al Qaeda. So said Mr Blair. So said Mr Straw. Could you talk to us, please, Messrs Blair and Straw? What was Iraq for?
Sharon’s Second Front
Uri Avnery, CounterPunch
A suicide bomber kills himself. Should his orphan children be punished for that? The Israeli army of occupation says: Yes, indeed! Furthermore, anyone who helps the children is a criminal, an accomplice, a supporter of terrorism.
The man behind “total war” in the Middle East
William O. Beeham, SF Chronicle
"The sparing of civilian lives cannot be the total war's first priority. . . . The purpose of total war is to permanently force your will onto another people."
In Iraq, Water and Oil Do Mix
Leah C. Wells, CounterPunch
An anonymous U.S. State Department official quoted in National Geographic said, "people outside the region tend not to hear about the issue (of water). It just doesn't make the news." By design, not by accident, this issue is obscured from Western eyes because the propaganda machinery from Washington, DC has not allowed it.
In Bed with Bush – The Bechtel Story
William Bowles, Information Clearing House
Shade of dark brown eh? A little research into the history of the Bechtel Corp reveals almost a 'classroom example' of how the links between big business and government work, and what works for Bechtel can be applied to the 100 or so, major corporations that control America and dictate not only its foreign policy but also its domestic one.
Saudi Bombing - A Calculated Act With a Political Message
William O. Beeman, Pacific News Service
The brutal bombings in Riyadh that killed at least 30 people were far from random, irrational acts directed primarily at Americans, writes PNS contributor William O. Beeman. Their target -- a U.S.-based company that trains the Saudi National Guard – suggests local, anti-monarchist motivations and attackers who may have little or no connection to Osama bin Laden.
Chaos in Iraq: Who is the US trying to fool?
William Pfaff, International Herald Tribune
The situation in Iraq, even by friendly accounts, seems to be deteriorating, and unfriendly accounts in both the British and the French press are scathing.
No Iraqi weapons of mass destruction?—US media scoundrel shrugs his shoulders
David Walsh, WSWS
The pollution of the American body politic continues unabated. US media pundits, whose lies about Iraqi “weapons of mass destruction” have been exposed by events, are rapidly inventing new falsehoods to justify the old ones.
Grit Your Teeth Surgery in ‘Liberated’ Iraq
David Edwards, Media Lens
How many readers are aware, for example, that, according to UNICEF, more than 300,000 Iraqi children are currently facing death from acute malnutrition that is, twice as many as under Saddam? What does it say of the US-UK occupation that we have managed to double the suffering previously experienced by children under "one of the most sadistic regimes on the planet", as Andrew Rawnsley of the Observer described it?
The truth about Jessica
The Guardian - Special reports
Her Iraqi guards had long fled, she was being well cared for - and doctors had already tried to free her. John Kampfner discovers the real story behind a modern American war myth
Economic Consequences of Iraq Occupation
Garda Boeninger, ProutWorld
The U.S. real economy is in virtual shambles. It is the most debt-ridden country in the world, with every American having an average debt of $12,000. Its position is worse than that of Indonesia when it imploded in 1998, and it is even worse than that of Argentina. In February and March of 2003 another half a million Americans were laid off from their jobs.
A CIA Officer's Calamitous Choices
Jerry Meldon, Consortium News
The documents reveal that Gehlen had hired and protected hundreds of Nazi war criminals. The more notorious of these Hitler henchmen included Alois Brunner, Adolf Eichmann's right-hand man in orchestrating the Final Solution, and Emil Augsburg, who directed the Wansee Institute where the Final Solution was formulated and who served in a unit that specialized in the extermination of Jews.
Work and the Free Society – Part 1
Anarchist Federation (UK)
Work eats up our lives. It dominates every aspect of our existence. When we're not at the job we're travelling to or from it, preparing or recovering from it, trying to forget about it or attempting to escape from it in what is laughably called our 'leisure' time. Work is
a truly offensive four-letter word too horrifying to contemplate.
Work and the Free Society – Part 2
Anarchist Federation (UK)
As Bob Black argues: "You are what you do. If you do boring, stupid, monotonous work, chances are you'll end up boring, stupid, and monotonous. Work is a much better explanation for the creeping cretinization all around us than even such significant moronizing mechanisms as television and education.”
Making Media Monopoly Part of the Constitution
Robert W. McChesney, ZNet
It is hard to avoid the conclusion that this has nothing to do with free markets or a free press, but that it is all about cronyism and corruption. The massive media firms that have bankrolled and supported the Bush administration want their payback and the administration is determined to give it to them, the public be damned.
A future worth fighting for
Andrew O'Hehir, Salon
So what do we learn in Andy and Larry Wachowski's second installment about the war between the human race and the machines that keep 95 percent of humanity imprisoned and enslaved, keep it living out "real life" in a highly sophisticated set of software programs whose simulated world strongly resembles, well, Western civilization circa right now?
The mixed-metaphor madness of Thomas Friedman
Matt Taibbi, NYPress
Reading Friedman is fascinating–the same way that it’s fascinating to watch a zoo gorilla make mounds out of its own feces. The gorilla is a noble, intelligent animal that will demean itself in captivity. Friedman is a less noble animal of roughly the same intelligence, whose cage is the English language. It’s an amazing thing to behold.
Press Not Ready to Cover Our Own Gaza
Barbara Bedway, Editor & Publisher
We've become a bit like blacksmiths, almost an anachronism now. I find it very frightening. It is similar to the end of the Roman Republic, when the spectacle of the arena replaced real political debate and participation in political life.
The Guaranteed Failure of the "Road Map"
Tanya Reinhart, Yediot Aharonot
Every few months, a "peace plan" is pulled out of the drawers of the white house and keeps the public discourse busy for a few weeks. Although this ritual has a fixed pattern and predetermined end, it is curious that many in Israel are still tempted to believe that this time it is different.
Israel’s New Anti-Activist Strategy
Allison Gifford, Rabble News
The past several weeks have seen the Israeli military taking an increasingly hard-line new tack towards international anti-occupation activists in Gaza — so much so that those attempting to act as “human shields” have lost their special ability to, well, shield.
The Petroleum Plateau
Richard Heinberg, GlobalPublicMedia.com
The realization that modern industrial society is approaching the peak in available net energy to fuel the economy is a powerful shock to one’s entire belief system. It literally changes everything.
The Hydra’s New Head: Propagandists, and Selling the US-Iraq War
Paul de Rooij, Dissident Voice
As the fog of war lifts, the propaganda model followed by the United States to sell the US-Iraq War is now clear, and the best way to understand this campaign is to consider it as psychological warfare against the US population.
Censorship and Prisoner Rights in West Virginia
Jamie Loughner, Infoshop
The Mount Olive Correctional Complex / WV Dept of Corrections inmate regulations call for a 90 day Loss of Privileges for an inmate’s name being found on the Internet through search engines.
Grand Jury Repression
Organizers of the conference "Revolutionary Environmentalism: A Dialogue Between Activists and Academics," have criticized Fresno State University for acceding to a grand jury subpoena for videotape of their gathering.
Bechtel And Blood For Water
Vandana Shiva, Information Clearing House
The U.S. led war first bombed out Iraq's hospitals, bridges, water works, and now U.S. corporations are harvesting profits from "reconstructing" a society after its deliberate destruction. Blood was not just shed for oil, but also for control over water and other vital services.
Defense Dept Secretly Tapped Halliburton Unit To Operate Iraq's Oil Industry In Nov.
Jason Leopold, Information Clearing House
Months before the United States military showered Iraq with bombs and missiles, the Department of Defense was secretly working with Vice President Dick Cheney’s old company, Halliburton Corp., on a deal that would give the world’s second largest oil services company total control over Iraq’s oil fields, according to interviews with Halliburton’s most senior executives.
Dean Baker, In These Times
Why the economy will go from bad to worse.
Can You Spot the War Crime?
Gregory Elich, Centre for Research on Globalisation
There is much confusion about what does and does not constitute a war crime. While many have a clear notion of the concept, others are befuddled. In order to bring clarity and understanding to this troublesome subject, a quiz is offered below.
Uprising in the Chechnya Ghetto
Nadezhda Banchik, Antiwar.com
I will never forget the words of a Chechen refugee woman in Moscow, who cried out desperately to me, "Do you really consider us humans?" Indeed, the Russian forces' conduct in Chechnya has begun to equal their behavior there during Stalin's Great Terror: They routinely employ torture, forced confessions, and mass killing. Concentration camps honeycomb the entire republic.
Rachel Corrie, Jessica Lynch, and the Unequal Worthiness of Victims
Paul Street, ZNet
You can learn much about the toxic and authoritarian role of the American “mainstream” (corporate-state) media by asking a representative sample of Americans to identify and tell you what they know and think about two young women recently in the news – Rachel Corrie and Jessica Lynch.
America's Dirty Bombs
Dave Lindorff, CounterPunch
The notion of Baghdad, a city of five million, being dusted with uranium oxide, is grim, as it will likely produce widespread injuries and death, particularly among children, who are closer to the ground and who routinely play in the dirt.
Journalistic ethics, hypocrisy and war at the New York Times
Bill Vann, WSWS
With the Blair case, a sober “editors’ note” was published on page three, detailing the Times’ response to the reporter’s alleged misconduct as well as plans to review newsroom procedures. No such note was forthcoming with Miller’s piece, though it certainly was far more warranted than in Blair’s case.
Bush Should Be Impeached and Tried for War Crimes
Denise Giardina, Charleston Gazette (WV)
The American people should be clear about two things. History never judges kindly a rich, powerful nation that attacks a small, poor one. The second is that empires — all empires — end up on the ashbin of history. George W. Bush should be impeached. After that, he should stand beside Saddam Hussein in the dock to be tried for war crimes.
At least 1,700 civilians were killed and more than 8,000 injured in Iraq's capital
Big Brother is Tracking You. Without a Warrant.
Billboard Liberation Front gives sign anti-Bush makeover
Secrecy over shoot-to-kill fear in Gaza
US troops vandalized ancient city
Police Thugs Kill Innocent Woman in Botched Raid
30 Arrested in St. Louis on way to Biodevastation Conference Against Genetic Engineering and Monsanto
Baghdad pays the postwar price: 242 die in three weeks
Bitter Iraqi Soldiers Threaten Attacks Against US
In Reversal, Plan for Iraq Self-Rule Has Been Put Off Indefinitely
Activists stack the deck against war profiteers
Saskatchewan farmer in battle with Monsanto star of Biodevastation conference
Police offering reward to identify anti-war protesters
The Pentagon's Total Information Awareness program gets an image makeover
Extent of UK snooping revealed
Homeland security tracks Democrats
Great Fish Going the Way of the Dinosaurs
Berkeley group uses real photo to show U.S. once backed Iraqi leader
Toxic Bullets Litter Iraq: high levels of radiation left by US armor-piercing shells
Iraqi POWs 'tortured by British and Americans'
Influential South Korean Internet site uses ``citizen reporters'' to cover news
Building a Nation of Snoops
CSOs and senior security executives worried US becoming a police state
Fear of Baghdad Unrest Prompts a Halt in Sending Troops Home
Anti-US pop songs top charts in Pakistan
Galloway Hits Back Over Faked Documents, Dirty Tricks
Landless peasants invade Brazilian Indian reserve
Victims of Iraq War File Lawsuit Against US Commander
Afghan reporters face death threats
Former ELF Spokesmen Form New Revolutionary Organization
When Things Get Rough for Protesters, These Lawyers Go on the March
US Army Patents Biological Weapons Delivery System, Violates Bioweapons Convention
Move to bring Bush, Blair to trial taking on international scale
A minister quits, buildings burn, rubbish rots. So much for the 'reconstruction'
Disorder deepens in ‘liberated’ Baghdad
Week in Review editor: Dean Thomas
Alternative Press Review
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Arlington, VA 22204